Wednesday, March 9, 2011

For praying out loud: Part One.

Why do we meal plan?
To make the week run smoother. To ensure that we are getting important nutrients into our family's bellies throughout each week. To ensure that at 4:00 when our kids start to remind us that they are going to be hungry soon, that we are not irritated (as much) with coming up with a dinner for them within a reasonable time frame.

What happens if we don't meal plan?
Perhaps more trips to the fast food joints in our area than we would like to admit. Frustration with our children every time they announce they are hungry. Pulling meals together only to find that you are missing one very important ingredient that brings the whole meal together. Getting to 4:30 in the afternoon and clenching your teeth when your kdis start nagging for food, and you realize the one meal you can make is actually going to take one hour to bake in the oven, and you will have to not only whip up that meal, but also manage to entertain, and distract, your kids while it cooks to keep them from nagging relentlessly. What? That's never happened in your house?

Anyway, this post is actually about a different kind of plan.
A Mom Plan. Because being a confident, controlled mom doesn't always just happen by accident. What is a Mom Plan? Anticipating, planning ahead, identifying what "habits" (for lack of a better term) will continue to repeat themselves in your house, and then creating a plan to avoid those things, and be prepared for those things. (I believe that this process comes more naturally for some moms than others. Some of you type-A moms out there are probably wondering why I would even take the time to post this. For the rest of you, read on...)
Sidenote: I am blessed with many wonderful influences in my life right now. I seek advice, and encouragement from the women around me on a daily basis. Here are just a few tips I have been taught along the way that I plan to implement as I carry out this (new-to-me) idea of creating my "Mom Plan"....
Ask yourself: What negative cycles do I see repeating themselves in my home?
(BTW, it's also a marvelous idea to reflect on the positive cycles in your home, and give yourself a pat on the back for those) One of our readers pointed out that when moms are tired, they will become very irritable very quickly and reach their boiling point much quicker. One plan of attack, in that regard, would obviously be to get more sleep. But how? Create a plan. I will be in bed by such-and-such a time even if the dishes are not done, I will set boundaries for myself, I will lay down when my child takes a nap, etc. Find what will work for your unique family, and life situations.

Try just adding one new idea to your "Mom Plan" each week.
Trying just one idea at a time will allow for two things.
One: You will not feel overwhelmed with trying to change everything at once.
Two: You can evaluate if what you are doing it actually helping you or not.

The phone call to my mom that started this thought process.
I cried to my mom this Saturday morning over the phone. "They're driving me crazy. I just made them a PB&J english muffin sandwich, and then they started begging for oatmeal, and Kipton was crying, and bleh blah blah." She lovingly, and patiently listened as I carried on and on. It was 9:00 in the morning and I felt like I had already suffered through a full day. When I was exhausted and at a loss for words she interjected, "I think you should rest. Take a nap, Alisha." :) (she also suggested I might be having my period soon...which was ruled out last week...TMI, I know) Her answer wasn't enough for me. We continued talking. She reminded me how she would stop everything (sweetly, I might add) when I was a kid, and pray, out of nowhere. She did too. I remember as a kid times when we'd all be worked up, and my mom would get down on her knees and make us pray with her. We always felt better after we prayed. Even if the problem was still in front of us, it didn't seem as big anymore. She prayed with me over the phone. I love my mom.

Anger has been my issue lately.
I always keep it real on here. I don't mean to beat this one into the ground, but anger towards my children for acting their age, is definitely one of my personal struggles in this season of my life. It was not always been my struggle. Three kids, under the age of five, all living under one roof, have managed to bring this side out of me that I never knew existed. It is the struggle that I have not quite come to the other side of yet.

My Mom Plan for this week.
Fight back anger with prayer and worship. Out loud prayers. Not mumbles under my breath, or yelling out, "GOD, HELP ME!" prayers. Just, earnest, stop everything, get down on my knees and pray out loud with my kids, kind of prayers. Each time anger rears its ugly head this week I plan to bring it before the Lord, before it gets out of hand. Rather than clenching my teeth and letting anger fester until I am yelling at my kids, I will stop. I will pray. I will listen to worship music that will remind me who is in charge. I am hoping to let you know how this goes for me throughout this week.

YOUR TURN
What's your struggle? What do you need to create a Mom Plan for? What is your Mom Plan? We'd LOVE to hear from you, and possibly even encourage you and pray with you as you seek to be the best mom you can be! Please take a second to share.

Oh yeah. I am going to post some meals this week too. :) All of them from my "Cooking Light: 5 Minute, 15 Ingredient" cookbook.

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